Dr. Lowenstein often fields questions about avoiding an over-done look in facial surgery. He feels it important that patients understand that the over-pulled, over-tightened facial plastic surgery so often seen in Los Angeles and Hollywood is NOT the type of result that our Santa Barbara patients should expect.

Dr. Lowenstein’s techniques for facial rejuvenation include procedures to address the neck, lower face, mid-face and cheek to provide a natural and refreshed appearance.

Eyelid and brow surgery (discussed here) can be combined with these procedures to provide a comprehensive approach to facial rejuvenation.

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Effects of Aging & Facial Rejuvenation

Aging of the face affects each patient individually and therefore consideration of any facial rejuvenation is a very personal decision. The facelift procedure, or rhytidectomy, addresses many aspects of the aging face in order to restore a refreshed, more youthful appearance. Areas of concern may be varied or specific.

Commonly, the regions of the jowls and cheeks are of particular interest to patients. With age, there is a loss of the youthful volume in the mid-face region in most patients. There also may be a concern regarding the definition of the jaw line, or excess tissue of the neck that can be seen as fullness, vertical bands, or the blunting of the angle below the jaw. The appearance of lines near your eyelids or around the mouth, or a lowering of the position of your brow may also be evident. While all of these issues may be addressed surgically, no cookie-cutter operation will achieve all of the goals that you may seek. The facelift operation must be specifically customized to each and every patient.

When considering a facelift procedure, careful assessment must involve evaluation of your facial balance. Your skin quality, the appearance and position of facial lines, and additionally your general health must be carefully addressed, as must your bony facial structure. The meticulous analysis of the patient’s facial form is one of the most interesting aspects of plastic surgery. Dr. Lowenstein truly enjoys his interaction with the patient during this process. It is his goal that each patient leaves the pre-operative consultation with a thorough understanding of the facial issues to be addressed, and the means by which surgical correction will be performed.

Who's a candidate for Facial Surgery

Facelift Techniques

As techniques in facelift procedures have evolved, many operations have been touted as the best way to achieve a youthful appearance.

Dr. Lowenstein believes that a safe approach to the facelift procedure is of foremost importance, and that an individual may benefit from a combination of surgical techniques. The SMAS, or suspension layer of the face, is almost always addressed in these operations. This layer is in continuity with the superficial muscle layer of the neck, and this can be taken advantage of in the contouring of a mini-facelift, or limited-incision procedure.

An Individualized Approach for Facial Rejuvenation

The SMAS layer can be manipulated during surgery to provide a thinner facial shape in patients with a round face, or the SMAS can be used in different ways to provide volume to a face that appears hollowed.

Improvement of the contour of the cheek may be performed by manipulation of the SMAS layer, or alternatively by lifting from a well-hidden eyelid approach. It is specific knowledge of facial anatomy, combined with a breadth of surgical techniques that allows Dr. Lowenstein to create an individualized approach for facial rejuvenation.

In combination with the facelift operation, ancillary procedures may be utilized to achieve optimal results. These may include eyelid surgery such as blepharoplasty, brow elevation, lip lifting or augmentation, or addressing the deeper lines and shadows above and below the corners of the mouth: the nasolabial folds and marionette lines. In depth discussions of each of these procedures allows the patient, as well as the surgeon, feel comfortable.

The Santa Barbara Blended Cheek and Neck Lift

Dr. Lowenstein’s Blended Cheek and Neck lift in Santa Barbara provides a natural looking rejuvenation, and more often than not, his patients are very surprised at the ease of recovery. Gone are the weeks of excessive swelling and bruising. Dr. Lowenstein’s limited incision techniques allow him to restore YOUR natural and individualized beauty without excessive pulling or distortion. Each patient is given a personalized analysis allowing for a unique approach to your facial structure. The Blended Cheek and Neck Lift addresses both the mid face and the neck, allowing the restoration of your facial features to create a more rested, restored, and rejuvenated appearance without the classic concerns of a very extended recovery.

Dr. Lowenstein discusses Recovery From Facial Surgery

Learn More About This Procedure

FAQs: Facelift and Blended Cheek and Neck Lift

  • What is the basis of the Santa Barbara Blended Cheek and Neck Lift?

    The Blended Cheek and Neck Lift reflects a modern three dementia understanding of detailed facial anatomy. Repositioning and sculpting of fallen facial tissue provides an individualized rejuvenating procedure. The Blended Cheek and Neck Lift is designed to make patients appear as more youthful, rested versions of themselves.

  • What is the biology of facial aging?

    Studies of facial anatomy have mapped out specific regions of volume that give the face its younger appearance. Specialized layers of connective tissue envelop these areas, and maintain their position in our early years. The main connective tissue is called the SMAS, and is in continuity with the broad, flat muscle of the neck called the platysma. As we age, we lose volume in our face, while the connective tissue of both the skin and the SMAS weakens. Facial tissues tend to droop over the jawline, producing unwanted wrinkles and jowls. Similarly, these mechanisms cause excess skin and banding in the neck as the underlying platysma muscle is unable to retain it’s youthful contour.

  • What is the difference between pulling and sculpting?

    In an operation to restore the facial appearance to it’s youthful version, attention must be paid not only to the overlying skin, but particularly to the volume below it. Pulling the skin alone results in an awkward and temporary result. These telltale signs of facial plastic surgery are avoided with Dr. Lowenstein’s face lift in Santa Barbara. It is a sculpting of the tissue underneath the skin, made up of the SMAS and the platysma, that provides the appearance of an optimal face lift.

  • How does a face lift improve the neck?

    The platysma, as it ages, can form bands in the neck as it’s supportive structure weakens. As part of the Santa Barbara Face Lift, the platysma muscle is tightened under the jaw and laterally in the neck, effectively supplying a corset or sling to reshape this area. In some patients, resection or sculpting of fat either with liposuction or with direct fat removal is performed to further contour this area.

  • How does the cheek age?

    As we get older, the youthful fatty tissue that lies over the cheekbone area falls. This tissue is called the malar fat. The bright, youthful appearance of our cheeks lessens as there is less volume over the apex of the cheek bones, and falling malar fat can produce unwanted shadows in the cheek below the eyes. Volume loss also affects the fat in the lower part of the mid-face, called the buccal region. This produces a more hollow appearance, which is also a sign of aging. As the volume loss in the mid-face progresses, the overlying skin, which used to drape smoothly over the youthful face, sags and worsens the shadow of the nasolabial fold below it.

  • What is the Nasolabial Fold?

    The nasolabial fold, sometimes called the nasolabial crease, is a highly misunderstood region of the face. It represents a tight connection between the skin and the underlying facial structure. While injection of soft tissue filler into the nasolabial folds can help soften their depth, significant injections here are not recommended. The worsening of the shadow of this crease occurs because of loss of volume and elasticity in the cheek above, and the sagging and falling of this tissue.

  • Are soft tissue fillers the answer?

    A puffed out, over-filled nasolabial fold that has been treated with excessive injectable does not produce a youthful, or even natural appearance. The nasolabial folds appear worse as we age because the cheek above falls downward as we get older, causing a worsening shadow in the crease. The fix for this problem is not to fill the area below the fallen tissue, but instead to lift the cheek back to its youthful position.

  • How does the mid-face or cheek lift work?

    Dr. Lowenstein’s cheek lift reverses signs of aging by re-suspending each specialized area of volume to its proper position, through well hidden and limited incisions. The malar fat is replaced over the cheek to provide the beautiful contour that we see in every magazine cover-girl. The buccal tissue is additionally lifted, reducing the skin excess and laxity over the nasolabial crease and thereby reducing the shadow of the nasolabial fold.

  • How is a mid-face or cheek lift performed?

    Dr. Lowenstein’s Cheek Lift is performed through a lower eyelid incision, and most often incorporates lower eyelid rejuvenation as well. The natural fat of the cheek is accessed through this small incision. Elevation of the soft tissue of the cheek, called the malar fat, produces two excellent results: rejuvenation of the soft tissue of the cheek, and improvement of the shadows of the nasolabial folds.

  • What can be done about skin laxity?

    Either with a face lift or in the months following a face lift, skin that is newly re-draped over the sculpted face can be further tightened without the over pulled look, only at Dr. Lowenstein’s Plastic Surgery Center, using the revolutionary cool helium plasma skin tightening treatment. By utilizing the cool helium plasma beam on the underside of the skin, the skin itself is allowed to tighten without excess mechanical pulling, avoiding the “operated look” but creating a skin conditioning improvement seen nowhere else on the Central California Coast. For more information on plasma reconditioning, see our dedicated page here.

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